Last week was an unusual one for folks in Georgia. The record snowfall hung around for longer than normal because of the prolonged sub freezing temperatures.
Sunday night and Monday morning were beautiful with the several inches of fresh snow blanketing everything. Snowmen began to appear and sleds provided much joy in neighborhoods and parks all over northern Georgia. Then the freezing rain and sleet arrived and added a glaze to our sparkling white world. Schools and businesses were closed. Bread and milk disappeared from the grocery shelves. It didn't take long before you could not find salt and sand at the hardware stores. Roads became impassable.
By Wednesday night much of the fun had gone out of the experience. People began to get cabin fever. The beautiful snow had become frozen solid on the lawns, sidewalks, streets, and roads all across north, and much of south, Georgia. Wind chill factors in the single digits did not help matters any. Traffic was a mess on all the interstate highways as big rigs and small cars could not maneuver the icy roads. Neighborhood streets and secondary roads presented motorists with dangerous challenges.
Things began to improve on Thursday. There were still many trouble spots on the roads and streets but many people were able to get out of their driveways and subdivisions. The primary factor in the improved conditions was sunshine. Although the temperature was still right at or below freezing, ice and snow began to melt. Within just a short while hardened ice and snow vanished little by little on surfaces that received sunlight.
As I drove out of my neighborhood and to the United Methodist Center at Simpsonwood on Thursday afternoon, there were stretches of pavement completely clear of ice and snow. But in places that were protected from the sunshine, or where it was limited, patches of ice remained.
What a testimony for solar energy. But it was more than that.
There was another lesson to learned.
If sunshine could transform these frigid conditions, I wondered to myself if a little "sunshine" might not change circumstances that were "frozen." Could the warmth of a smile thaw chilled relationships? Could a kind word heal wounds?
Let's try something this week and see what happens. Let's be intentional to share the warmth of God's love. If we let the Son shine through us, we might see amazing transformations in the circumstances and relationships of our lives.
[Taken with permission from "Monday Morning in North Georgia," Jan. 17, 2011. North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.]